Thy Hoang Vu had helped start Mims SLC with her husband.
The man who was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk while escaping police and causing a fatal crash in western Salt Lake City in October has been charged with murder .
Christian Cody Facer, 39, was indicted in the 3rd District Court on Wednesday for the death of Thy Hoang Vu, mother of two and co-founder of Mims SLC, a local bakery.
Facer has been charged with murder, a first degree felony, according to the indictment document, and one count of second degree felony of failing to respond to an officer’s stop signal, resulting in injury or death. Prosecutors also filed two counts of third-degree impaired driving against him, in part because he had had two or more previous convictions in the past 10 years.
He is also charged with the offenses of reckless driving, non-stopping, having an open container in his vehicle and using it without the ignition interlock system he was required to have. He also faces violations for speeding and driving several red lights and stop signs.
Facer was also previously charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in September, following a reckless driving appeal. At the time, he had a blood alcohol level of 0.24%, according to documents, nearly five times Utah’s legal limit. Investigators found an open container of vodka in his vehicle, according to records.
On October 16 before the crash, North Salt Lake Police received a first report around noon of two men passing a bottle of whiskey back and forth while one was driving a Ford F-250, “said sneaking in and out of traffic “and” getting people off the road, “according to a probable cause statement from a Salt Lake City Police Department detective. The driver was later identified as Facer. Officers located the truck on US Highway 89 and launched a chase.
Facer then drove on Interstate 15, at times exceeding 100 mph, then exited in the Salt Lake City area as he attempted to evade police, the statement said. When Facer allegedly “boned” Vu’s vehicle near 500 North and 1200 West in the Fairpark neighborhood, it was driving at around 70 mph, the document said.
Vu died of her injuries at the scene and her passenger, a close friend of hers, was seriously injured. A dog that was getting into Vu’s car was killed in the crash, and Facer is also charged with aggravated animal cruelty, a Class B misdemeanor.
The passenger in Facer’s vehicle reportedly told detectives that he and Facer had been drinking alcohol since 6 a.m. that day. Officers also found partially empty liquor bottles inside Facer’s vehicle, the document said.
Vu had started Mims SLC with her husband, Tripp Mims, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. His death sparked a wave of social media posts from friends and residents. A silent auction organized to benefit Mims and the couple’s two sons raised more than $ 37,000, according to an article posted on the Instagram account @livelikethy.
A Salt Lake County team assigned to incidents involving the actions of police investigating the accident, as well as an accident analysis team that includes Salt Lake City Police and several other law enforcement agencies from Salt Lake Valley, according to SLCPD.com. No Salt Lake City police were involved in the pursuit, the department said.